This Spider-Man Comic From 1976 Is Actually A Guide To Safe Sex

“I’ll end your plan to trap young people in ignorance, destroying their lives, and threatening their children’s existence!”

Marvel/Planned Parenthood / Via contentdm.unl.edu

In 1976, Marvel Comics teamed up with Planned Parenthood and published a special issue of Spider-Man. The reproductive health organization used a classic superhero plot to address the issue of comprehensive sex education, focusing on teen pregnancy, that is clearly reflective of its time period.

Richard Graham, an Associate Professor at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, told BuzzFeed in an e-mail that it isn’t out of the ordinary for Marvel to produce a promotional comics, but “The Amazing Spider-Man vs. The Prodigy” seems different from others. “This is a little out-of-the norm for Marvel,” Graham explained. “The artwork is done by a respectable artist Ross Andru, which already sets apart from most PSAs, since these tend to be done on a bidding basis, with the lowest bid getting the contract. Marvel seems to have gone all out for this comic in terms of the talent.”

While there doesn’t seem to be another joint project from these two organizations, it looks like this wasn’t the only time Planned Parenthood used comics as a tool to educate people about safe sex and contraception. In 1956, Planned Parenthood also released a comic about a couple’s relationship saved by birth control.

3. “The Amazing Spider-Man vs. The Prodigy” is about an evil alien who tries to teach high schoolers wrong information about having safe sex.

Marvel/Planned Parenthood / Via contentdm.unl.edu

4. Prodigy uses “vocal persuasion” as a tool to teach these teens to have unprotected sex.

Marvel/Planned Parenthood / Via contentdm.unl.edu

5. Apparently, it’s all a part of a grand scheme to bring a bunch of children to Prodigy’s home planet of Intellectia and use them as laborers.

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6. “Heh, heh. That should do it,” the evil villain says into a mirror. “A few more hours and I should have the youth of this country well under control.”

Marvel/Planned Parenthood / Via contentdm.unl.edu

7. “They’ll have babies right and left, from ignorance, just as I planned for my giant baby snatch.”

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8. But Prodigy didn’t realize Spider-Man was on the case.

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9. Spider-Man arrived outside the classroom window just when Prodigy was telling a group of high schoolers to have unprotected sex, and lots of it.

Marvel/Planned Parenthood / Via contentdm.unl.edu

10. “Pregnancy’s good for you — helps your hormones,” the villain said. “Even cures up acne, and the best time to have babies is when you’re going enough to tell yourself to enjoy them.”

Marvel/Planned Parenthood / Via contentdm.unl.edu

11. After listening in, Spider-Man had enough, “Good grief, I see it all now! This guy’s plan is to keep kids from getting facts. They probably don’t even know that getting pregnant at their age is risky for mothers and babies.”

Marvel/Planned Parenthood / Via contentdm.unl.edu

12. “…I’m going to tell young people about the glorious, carefree life they’re welcome to share in my utopian retreats all over the country,” Prodigy thought to himself.

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13. Then BLAMO!

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14. Luckily for sexually active high schoolers everywhere, Spider-Man saved the day.

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15. Teenagers learned they could, in fact, have safe sex without getting pregnant.

Marvel/Planned Parenthood / Via contentdm.unl.edu

16. “I’ll end your plan to trap young people in ignorance, destroying their lives, and threatening their children’s existence,” Spider-Man told the villain. “You can’t make make kids your robots.”

Marvel/Planned Parenthood / Via contentdm.unl.edu

17. And all was well.

Marvel/Planned Parenthood / Via contentdm.unl.edu

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